I'd been pondering leaving Facebook for a while. I just hadn't come round to it yet. You see, I had real friends there, and a 'life' there so to speak. I'm not one of those people that have 500 to 2000 Facebook friends or more. I really didn't see the need of 'friending' hundreds of people I didn't intend to stay in touch with, or be friends with in the true sense of the word. Most of my Facebook friends are people I know and have met; friends from school, university, and other areas of my life. Those that I hadn't met were friends of the friends I had met, whom I felt I knew in some way. I could say those I knew nothing of but ended up friending made up only 1%. I rarely (perhaps never) accepted a friend request unless the requester and I had more than a couple of random interests ( a musician, activity, etc) in common. I took this Facebook friending seriously, complete with a mini background check (person's wall, activities, etc) before accepting the friend request. Call me paranoid, call me thorough, that's just me. And these friends were for a very long time, up until late last year at a simple number of 50 friends. These slowly increased to about 170. Why? I had more time on my hands, and a more regular internet connection. And that was the figure at which I closed, after about 5 or 6 years of facebooking.
Some may say I was missing out on the whole point of a global networking site but I would say not. I'm as networked as I could ever want to be. The circles and information I need are still out there, Facebook or no Facebook. Yes, Facebook makes it easier but so does email, LinkedIn, and all the rest. There's also always the old phone call. It works wonders. Most recent example being me needing to get back to the runway. A phone call did just fine. No Zuckerberg.
Also, all the people I need to be in touch with, those worth the time, I can always get by email, sms, or a call. It costs more, but neither was Facebook free. I paid for that internet too. Except of course, my internet package payment is constant whether I get on to the Facebook or not. Sigh. Whatever. There are pros and cons to the whole Facebook thing. The cons just simply out-weighed pros. So shut went my Facebook account. At first I was hesitant to pull out. My blogs auto-feed to my Facebook page and most of my blog's traffic comes from the feeds to the Facebook page. So I withdrew from active participation on Facebook and left the account running so that my readers would find my blog pages with ease.
For me, Facebook was that one place that I never failed to find something that made me laugh, on any given day. When I was down in the dumps I logged on, left a few funny one-liners of my own here and there, read and laughed at other people's, and when I wasn't feeling up to it, simply faked it. Sometimes, like they say, you gotta fake it until you make it. Does that work for happiness and success too? Fake it until you make it? I know it works for self-confidence and learning how to smile. Yes, I had to learn how to smile. Or should I say I had to learn how to smile unselfconsciously? And I faked it, until I mastered it. A smile and laughter can be faked on Facebook too, with ease. :) LOL. There. The world thinks you're amused. Honestly, though, I mostly always found some genuine things to laugh about and always logged out feeling lighter. There were some serious discussions there too. I have friends interested in human rights, LGBT issues, pan-africanism, politics, African writing, history, et cetera, and we would get into some serious discussions, even arguments. But a lot of the time, I went to Facebook to escape from the drudgery and stress that life can be, joked a lot on Facebook, and did the same old stuff that millions of other people are doing such as over-sharing - like any one other than me really cares how big the bouquet of flowers my boyfriend carried to the airport was, how many bars of Snickers I eat a day, or how tiring and stressful my day was. But yes, I shared all this stuff all the same, liked pages created by others, and as I recently learnt, sometimes appeared to be someone I wasn't. The Facebook! What else is new.
I finally deactivated my Facebook account. I tell you, it feels so freeing, I feel lighter and more peaceful. I don't know what it is, may be it's the feeling of having one less account to log in to? But no, it's got to be more than that. Anyway, I'm off The Facebook. Digital me now resides on Blogger, WordPress and Twitter. Lord, does it ever end, this on-line life? One hiccup, though. I took lots of backstage pics of the fashion show (will post some later) and it turned out no one else had brought their camera along. All the girls of course wanted to have pictures of themselves, and they suggested we friend each other on Facebook so that I can send them the links to the pictures, or tag them. With the cost of the internet in this country, I should have charged them! I'm kidding of course. About charging them. About the internet costs, I don't know why we are not up in arms yet!
So, for the past two days, my Facebook account has been rife with notifications of me becoming friends with so and so. Now that I've closed the account before uploading the pics, I'll have to figure out a way to get the pics to the girls. Looks like I have some work cut out for me, trying to find out their email addresses. I'll just give them a Google Picasa link. That should suffice. See? Who needs the Facebook?
Oh, I forgot LinkedIn. Yes, I'm there too. A girl has got to earn a living, ergo the LinkedIn. Maybe one day I won't have to. I'll just stay home, bake bread, look after the kids and make a beautiful home in beautiful colours. I've been feeling all maternal for a while, I guess it's time. Next thing you know, I'll be out shopping for a bassinet and baby clothes. It's a boy, ladies and gentlemen. I know it, I feel it. Actually, two of them. Twins.
Back to the day's headlines, I'm off Facebook. I'm not certain what my blog traffic is going to look like from now on, but the Facebook ship has sailed and I've jumped off.